The End of a Thing

The end of a thing is better than its beginning;

The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

Ecclesiastes 7:8 (NKJV)

“Do you have any words of wisdom about being patient?” I asked him. This wise old man returns a simple thought: “A valuable asset to have. As my mother used to tell me, ‘good things come to those who wait.’”

Patience is a muscle in need of exercise. It gets stronger over time, after more and more use. Admittedly, my patience is often weak.

Here are three things that help me practice patience.

  1. Trusting in the promises of God. The Bible is full of comforting promises, but I’m thinking specifically of Romans 8:28. I must read, remember, and trust that God works everything for the good of those who love Him.
  2. Reminding myself of the reward for being patient. We’ve all been through circumstances that caused us anxiety, only to endure and realize the end was truly better than the beginning. I need to look forward to the end rather than stress about the beginning.
  3. Believing that patience produces character. Waiting strains and trains the character traits of perseverance and trust. Conversely, getting exactly what I want when I want it spoils those same qualities. When God is making me wait, He is shaping and forming me in those areas that make me uncomfortable. As Paul says, “tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character” (Rom. 5:3 & 4 [NKJV]).

Patience is a virtue we’d rather not develop. What are some things you do to be more patient?

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